Edward Hughes

So many great questions - amazing fun!

Favourite Thing: Building models! As a kid, I loved making things – from Lego spaceships to whole cities from old bits of wood. Nowadays I’m still building things from my imagination, using physics as a guide! But my models aren’t things you can touch. They’re made of maths, which is even cooler!



Sherborne School, Dorset (2004-2009). Queens’ College, Cambridge (2009-2013).


A Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Maths.

Work History:

University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Airsource, The Incredible Expanding Box.

Current Job:

I’m a first year PhD student.


Queen Mary, University of London.

Me and my work

I work out what happens when you smash particles together really hard, using some weird and wonderful new maths

I’m a physicist – but not as you might imagine. I don’t do experiments, and haven’t even got a white coat or goggles! Instead, I come up with theories. I use maths to predict how tiny particles behave. When you’ve got lots of particles smashing into each other, it gets really complicated. So I have to use some wacky ideas to make the calculations simpler. Once I’ve found something that works, I put it all in a computer and publish the answer!

My Typical Day

A mixture of reading papers, writing down my ideas and chatting to other scientists.

What I'd do with the money

I’d put on a science fete, with lots of games, food and drink organised by real scientists!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Ambitious, passionate, creative.

Who is your favourite singer or band?


What's your favourite food?

You can’t beat a good pizza!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Conducted a full orchestra and choir.

What did you want to be after you left school?

Either a scientist or a musician.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Now and then.

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

It feels great every time I work something out that nobody has ever done before!

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

When I was 13 I read a book about the Millennium Problems by Keith Devlin – I recommend it!

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A musician or a journalist.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Conduct the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra, perfectly understand black holes, live in a tiny cottage on the cliffs in Cornwall.

Tell us a joke.

Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.

Other stuff

Work photos:

At the moment they’re rebuilding my office. So here’s what it looks like to do research from home!